California Governor Gavin Newsom announced Monday that he will pull hundreds of National Guard troops from the U.S.-Mexico border, in defiance of Donald Trump, who ordered them there in the first place, the Los Angeles Times is reporting. With his announcement, Newsome became the second governor in a week to order the removal of National Guard troop’s from their state’s portion of the U.S.-Mexico border.
In April of 2018, as NPR reported at the time, Trump ordered National Guard troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to help stem illegal immigration. However, National Guard troops are under the command of their states’ governors, and not all governors among the states that border Mexico were fully on-board. California’s then-Governor Jerry Brown, for example, sent only a few hundred across the state, none to help with border security.
However, governors from other states – Arkansas, Kentucky, and New Hampshire, among others – did send National Guard troops to border states.
As the Huffington Post reported, 360 National Guard troops currently serve along the U.S.-Mexico border in California. It is unclear, as of this writing, how many of those are California troops and how many are from other states. Regardless, following Newsom’s order, 260 will be pulled from the border, leaving about 100. Those that remain will combat drug and gun smuggling, not illegal immigration.
Gov. Gavin Newsom will order the removal of roughly 360 National Guard members from California’s southern boundary with Mexico https://t.co/y3IQip0tZc
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) February 11, 2019
Newsom’s decision came one week after New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ordered National Guard troops under her command – which presently includes not only New Mexico troops but those from a handful from other states as well – to withdraw from the border, as reported by the Inquisitr. A handful will remain and will help with humanitarian aid.
In a statement, she dismissed Trump’s insistence that illegal immigration is a national emergency as a “charade,” and said she would have no part of it.
“I’m not going to participate, nor do I think it’s appropriate in any shape or fashion to use the National Guard to attempt to militarize the border.”
In his own statement, Newsom echoed Grisham’s sentiments almost word-for-word, calling Trump’s description of the supposed border crisis “political theater.”
“The Border ’emergency’ is a manufactured crisis. This is our answer to the White House: No more division, xenophobia or nativism.”
Elsewhere along the U.S.-Mexico border, National Guard troops remain, happily deployed there by their states’ Trump-supporting governors. In Texas, for example, as the Los Angeles Times reported, Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, sent about 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border. Similarly, as NBC News reported in April 2018, Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey sent 225 troops to the border.